VIJAYAWADA: Energy secretary B Sreedhar has clarified that there are no dues to the two coal companies — Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) — and all the bills are being cleared and timely payments are being made.
Speaking to mediapersons on Sunday, he said those two companies have even released the dispatch orders for April following requests for coal to meet daily needs of Genco power plants. “Let me make it clear that there is no shortfall in power production in APGENCO units or IPPCs. Coal is being supplied to them as per daily requirements. But, we don’t have any buffer stock as earlier,” he explained.
Sreedhar further said that as they have 100 per cent PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Vizag-based Hinduja Thermal Power, the government has written a letter to Coal India and Railway Board to release coal to the plant as payments were already made.
According to him, year on year growth of power demand since 2014 has increased significantly. In 2014, it was 6 per cent and in 2021, it was 14 per cent and by 2022, it was 13 per cent. With regard to power production capacity addition, he said since 2014, 3,500 MW of solar and 4,000 MW of wind power were added. However, this type of energy is renewable or variable energy, which is seasonal in nature unlike thermal power which is permanent in nature. “Solar and wind power are costly and it has put financial burden on the Discoms as well as consumers,” he said.
On the issue of loans, he said loans of Discoms which were Rs 30,000 crore in 2014-15 increased to Rs 62,000 crore in 2019 as the power utilities had to raise working capital with low releases of subsidies from the State government. Normally, Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000 crore every year should be released, but the previous government had released only Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 crore. The burden was put on the present government, which till date has released Rs 36,000 crore, including old dues. AP Genco loan posting in 2014 was Rs 420 crore and it increased to Rs 820 crore for the same reason.